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Innovation Simplified - Vlad Dumbrava
Jacob's Kitchen

Case Study

Innovation Simplified - Vlad Dumbrava

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Company:

Jacob's Kitchen

Location:

Diemen, The Netherlands

Who are they

A restaurant located in Diemen, 20 minutes away from the center of Amsterdam, on a student campus. They offer a casual dining experience, mostly comfort food with Asian and Dutch influences, a wide variety of homemade drinks, in a friendly atmosphere. It was my second home during my studies, as I worked in this kitchen for four years.

 

Jacob's Kitchen

 

The goal of the project

This represented my graduation project, and I have partnered with Jacob's Kitchen to help the company innovate and grow. The restaurant was looking for new ways of getting customers, offering better services, adapting to the changing needs of the target groups, and setting the path for future growth.

The project needed to have multiple parts: the project plan, the research period, and the solution and implementation reports.

The outcome

We started working on this precisely two months before the pandemic, so we had a lot of setbacks and approach changes. The solution suffered multiple iterations, and the final version contains many separate elements, from new services to a revamped marketing strategy and a custom mobile app.

The project also contains concrete testing and implementation plans, with tasks spread between the short, mid, and long terms.

Here are some of the proposed innovations:

StewStore - the ghost kitchen

SterwStore

 

The trend of ghost kitchens has been growing in the past years, and the pandemic pushed it to record heights. A ghost kitchen is a kitchen that only sells food through delivery apps like UberEats, Foodora, and Deliveroo, so they don't serve customers inside a restaurant. You can read more about this trend here.

StewStore was launched by Jacob's Kitchen in the beginning of 2020.

The JK app

The Jacob's Kithen App

A custom app for a restaurant that targets students and young professionals is a must. The company can enable users to personalize their experience, set food preferences, benefit from loyalty programs, and many more.

The app is designed to have innovative functionalities like visual table reservation (AR), a digital menu and ordering system (replacing the printed menus), and visual customization of dishes.

 

Digitalization

Jacob's Kitchen was not doing delivery before the pandemic, and this was one of the main reasons why they did it - to survive. Now, deliveries almost surpass the number of restaurant-goers because of the changing needs and behavior of consumers.

The business necessitated a complete digital overhaul, including online ordering, a new digital marketing and social media strategy, and a new website. I have designed everything for them and it's slowly coming together.

 

My experience

 

My journey at Jacob's Kitchen

Because my student job was here and it represents one of the best times of my life, I also felt the need to bring some real value to the business. Jacob, the owner, and I are close friends, and conducting a project in these circumstances is highly rewarding and motivating.

A project as big as this one takes a lot of time due to the different variables that have to be considered. On top of that, the pandemic made us change goals, deadlines, and priorities multiple times and made it even harder. Nevertheless, this was the most important innovation project for me because it signified the end of my student life and the beginning of the next chapter.

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